Capture Your Thoughts Essay
The following essay was written for a small coaching company named Kioni Coaching. It was to be used as a marketing and presentation piece for a simple Psychoanalysis process.
I was asked to participate in a process entitled ‘Capture Your Thoughts’ and to write about my experience with it, what I personally gained from it, and how it could be improved upon. Capture Your Thoughts (CYT) is a process in which you document a thought, be it good or bad, on a post it note(s) that is placed at a location in your house or immediate vicinity; ie: study, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, inside the first page of a notebook. However, I attempted the CYT a little differently as I recorded it all on my phone, and only wrote down distressing thoughts at first, until my last entry in which I documented feelings and thoughts of joy.
My first thought was recorded on 23/07/2014 and my last on 17/08/2014. As soon as I began writing the first I found it to be a relief to my system and was keen to release any feeling into that document. After the fifth I noticed some trending thoughts: loneliness, foolishness, regretful actions that upset me. Soon I also began to note four things that affected my experience and thoughts: the company I kept, my immediate surroundings, aches in my body, and mental tiredness. Firstly, the people I was with could affect me by how they were feeling; if they were in a good mood it would lift me, but if they were down I would be strengthened to help them. The latter added some stress to my mind. They could also affect me by what they would do or say, so, if someone I liked walked away for what I believed at the time was a silly reason then I would feel hurt. With my immediate surroundings it was important to me to have a sense of freedom or happiness from the area I was in. If I was outside I would prefer a clear sky, both day and night, with a slight breeze, because my mind is often influenced by the weather. Indoors I need a source of fresh air to keep me feeling clean. Finally, the tiredness I felt in body and mind from other activities placed a weight on my thoughts that I struggled to cope well with. I would often find myself swamped with distressing thoughts straight after over exerting myself in a game of football or working late.
I was thankful for the respite that drawing these thoughts out of me gave. In doing this every time I learnt that I am quite fragile and anything could set my emotions on edge. I need to learn to exercise a greater control over them. It also made me think about what other people may go through, not just dealing with me, but also what sort of battles they themselves are fighting through. Even if you cannot see a reason for someone to be struggling it does not mean that they aren’t. This showed me something about life itself, that it has its ups and downs and I should find a simple comfort in being able to experience both still. I must look at my body and mind and feel blessed with what I have been given. Some days are harder than others, but being able to feel that weight, that pain, that stress, it means you are alive and able to carry it, because if you weren’t you would have collapsed a long time ago. It’s helpful to remember that everyone experiences difficulties and advice can be gained from anyone you ask.
Seeing a usefulness for CYT I shall definitely continue with it in one way or another. In a diary, video log, or just on my phone. It’s really put me in a position where I feel more aware of my recurring causes for distress and so now I can continue to act on that. I could even use it in the workplace or in study. In both areas it would be interesting to see the change of thoughts or any crossovers with daily life that occur. Other people could even use it in their relationships to increase communication between the partners, if they shared what they thought by writing it down in an open, viewable book.
I would most certainly recommend it to others as it gives you an idea of what thoughts to combat, when you get them most, why you get them, and possibly a way to fight them. In the future I hope to see an app on phones for CYT with a clear direction on what to record, with sections for areas of life, and a way to group and correlate data. I also feel it could be adapted for less independent persons, like Primary aged children, by giving them prompts such as ‘This morning I felt…’, ‘This is because…’, or ‘ I dealt with it by…’.
In conclusion, I would sum up my experience with Capture Your Thoughts in a single sentence by saying it is an easy method of learning about the trains of thought your mind will take. I encourage everyone to give it a go, and good luck.